This article originally appeared in the Summer 2019 issue of the The Independent® magazine.
OGR is pleased to introduce fellow OGR member and young professional Jackie McQuade of Schuyler Hill Funeral Home in the Bronx, NY. Jackie is a 39-year-old manager, funeral home owner’s daughter, director, embalmer, and everything in between. We recently sat down with her to find out more about what motivates her and how she got started in funeral service.
Getting Started in Funeral Service
“I was born and raised in funeral service, but I did not become active until my brother and sister passed away, so then it was up to me. Technically I have worked here since I was a teenager as a floor person. I became licensed in 2008.”
The OGR Benefit
“What I value the most of OGR is that it is a select group of funerals homes that are committed to service based on a strict code of ethical standards and the Golden Rule. I have always been taught the golden rule in terms of regular life, but it now really pertains to the funeral field as well. I am honored to be part of this organization.”
“I don’t think I have someone or something that inspires me. I am such an extremely independent and driven person that I just live my life to the fullest in every capacity. I do believe wholeheartedly that this trait was passed on by my family, who is indeed an inspiration.”
“Whenever I am not in the funeral home I am riding my horses! I am a professional equestrian and I have been competing since I was a child. It is such great therapy for me. I rode horses professionally until my father asked me to help him here at the funeral home. Now I just ride when I can. It’s a good thing my horses live with me so I see them every day whether I have enough time or not to ride. When I get home late from the funeral home, I always check on them before I got to bed and they bring me back to reality.”
“When I was competing everyday, I would start riding so early that as I was on my horse as the sun would rise. I literally would start while the moon was still out. I would watch the sunrise on horseback; no matter what state or country I was in was, it was the most reflective times I ever had. I miss it terribly because funeral home hours now keep me up so late at night that I miss the super early mornings.”
Funeral Service Trends
“The trend I have noticed the most is in terms of technology. 90% of our funerals are still fully traditional, but families love the electronic board that has their loved ones pictures on it with all the service information. They also love the website which easily allows them to share photos and stories.”
“The most rewarding part of my job is knowing that I helped families in times of sorrow and made things a little bit easier for them. It brings comfort to families knowing that I have experienced my own personal tragedies and I have been on the other side of the desk when I am making arrangements.”
“My favorite phone app is YouTube. I love to laugh and sometimes I want to hear or see parts of movies that I find hysterical. Next is SnapChat just because I love playing with the filters, but I never snap anything because once its out there, it’s out there, even if it disappears in 30 seconds.”
Did you know?
“I think my peers would be surprised to know that I run on all cylinders without any caffeine! I am naturally wired and don’t need any help in terms of energy. Yes, I am this crazy naturally.”
— Improve the funeral home website so it blows my competitors out of the water.
– Have more of a balance between the funeral home and my horses.
— Live everyday to the fullest
“I have always followed the Golden Rule. My parents instilled that in me. However, in this day and age, with everyone being so busy I just say, “live it up!” My brother used to say, “Just keeping it real until we meet again”.
by Scott McClure
OGR Communications & Marketing Director